A local designer takes Evanston’s central cottage on a new path

Cinda Jo Perry’s front porch, overlooking St. Mary’s Syro Malankara Catholic Church. credit: Jorg Metzner

round table Walk around the house for two minutes The column takes readers inside some of Evanston’s most distinctive residences. We aim to showcase the history, style, architecture and design of homes across the city, from large lakefront residences to cozy carriage houses, modern apartments and everything in between.

Evanston designer Cinda Jo Perry’s home is located on Florence Street near Wilder Street, in the neighborhood often referred to as West Evanston Arts District. A worn gem in the rough, you made it shine.

She bought the 1,300-square-foot home in 2010. Her son, a contractor, said it would be a money pit. Her friend Mary was completely silent when she first saw this.

“Everyone looked at it as a deconstruction except me,” Perry says.

But one of Perry’s best friends from school grew up in this neighborhood, and her friend Scott Seltzer’s parents owned Purwin’s Cake Box next door at 1124 Florence Street. She saw the potential of the house.

The bright and airy remodeled home, built in 1903, now features an improved floor plan and has lots of interesting details.

“The place is so small, you can’t add much,” Perry says.

View of the house from the back
Rear view of Florence Street house after remodeling. credit: Ellen Galland

The comprehensive redesign took over six months and included incorporating some of the original features into the new design.

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